Archive for the Required Reading Category

Required Reading: Plato and the Internet

Posted in Required Reading with tags , , , on June 16, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Most young kids that grew up in diapers with a mouse in one hand, in there younger teenage years have shown quite an aversion to reading.  Everytime I log on to a game, zone is constantly filled with questions that are so basic that anyone who has played the game long enough knows that the player asking hasn’t read anything.  Typically players are nice enough to answer but highly recommend reading the tutorials.  Replies are usually various forms of the same answer that may as well be a big clear, concise neon sign saying “I don’t want to read”.

I’m an avid reader.  I love it, there’s so many things to be learned by reading, and so many fun imaginary stories to enjoy.  I partly blame our academic system, but it’s a number of things, that aren’t the point of this post, so I don’t want to digress too far.  Besides I am obviously writing this for a reading audience.

I want to share a book with everyone, that should become required reading for MMO players as well as “Internet Users”.

Plato and the Internet

This book is amazing, interesting, and just plain cool.

You can buy this book for a pittance.  You can find it between 1 and 2 dollars($2.00US) and it’s only 80 pages long.  It’s hardly heavy reading.

About the Author
Kieron O’Hara is currently research fellow in the Intelligence, Agents and Multimedia Group at the University of Southampton. He co-wrote the script of the computer game Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation, and is also the author of the only (as far as he knows) scholarly paper about Carry On Cabby.

Product Description
This book argues that what is important is not what facts you know, but what you know how to do, and that the essential contrast is not between knowledge and belief, but between knowledge and information.

That product description is a bit misleading, if not confusing.

The book compares notes written by Plato, in times gone by, relating to social interactions.  Some of these theories Plato wrote sound as though he’s talking about the internet.  But it’s not just the connections that are interesting and fun to read about, it’s beyond that.  Where he seemingly is talking about the present day world, he goes on to describe how we need to approach and change our thinking about social interactions now that we have new ways of interacting.

Without going too much further into my dry, and boring retelling of the books concepts, it covers areas that I think Internet users and MMORPG players could learn a tremendous amount about how they percieve they are having fun, and how they can change their perceptions.

If you think, like the description says: the importance is between knowledge and information, you can use that information however you want.  This book opened my mind to hundreds of ideas relating directly to MMORPG’s: how they work, how to play them better, how to enjoy them more, how to make better ones, etc…

And MMO bloggers need this book as well.  It will spark so many topics for you to write about, you may never get writer’s block.

All that’s left for me to say is get this book, get this book, get this book!